Kari Lizer was born in San Diego, California. She began her show business career at age 11 in a children's community theater group. "I played hooky from school quite a bit, and it was a clever way to get me involved in school and keep me busy." When she was 13, she was cast in an educational film about drug abuse, and two years later won the coveted role as the Kentucky Fried Chicken spokesgirl on several national commercials. Later, she was selected to be the television spokesperson for a national restaurant chain. By this time she had also appeared in many local theatrical productions.
After backpacking through Europe for two months, Lizer was cast in her first theatrical film "Private School" with Matthew Modine and Phoebe Cates. She also guest-starred in "Who's The Boss?," "Growing Pains," and the "Half Nelson" series. She starred in the "Perry Mason's Kids" pilot, and the film "Gotcha" before being selected for two different guest roles in "Matlock." Her first appearance in the series as a rock 'n' roll singer sufficiently impressed the producers and she returned to create the role of Cassie Phillips, a dedicated law clerk.
Lizer is a sports enthusiast and enjoys water skiing and tennis, and weight-trains regularly. In addition, she owns an Appaloosa racehorse, and always has one or two pets with her wherever she lives.